Work has now been completed on the west gable wall of Kilbarron Church. In addition the lintel over the window in the west gable wall has been repaired. As well the lintel over the entrance doorway of the church has been reinforced with stainless steel supports cleverly concealed above the lintel taking the weight of the stonework above the lintel.
The timeline of the work was as follows
The group were awarded funding through the Community Monument Fund administrated by Donegal County Council in March 2023. After sending work out to tender and getting quotes we were able to employ Michael McGroarty as contractor. Later in May, a site meeting was held with interested parties including; Geraldine McManus, Conservation Architect; Tamlyn McManus, Archaeologist; Martin Reed, National Monument Service; Dr Joe Gallagher, Donegal Heritage Officer and Michael McGroarty, Contractor and Stonemason. Additionally members of the Kilbarron Castle & Church Conservation Group who have been instrumental in getting this project underway.
The main discussion was on the perilous state of the lintel over the main entrance that showed signs of fracturing and the state of the window in the west gable wall. It was agreed that a structural engineer was needed to assess the problem.
Above are left to right: Martin Reed, Tamlyn McManus, Molly Reynolds & Michael McGroarty
22nd September 2023
Visit to the site of Paul O’Doherty, the structural engineer. By the beginning of September the scaffolding was in place, delayed by the poor weather conditions which meant that the surrounding meadow was late in being mown and saved.
It was decided that the lintel would need to be supported from the weight of the stones above. The lintel above the window was also checked and a plan to repoint the lintel replacing missing stones to make the opening secure from further deterioration.
Conservation work began in October clearing the brambles on the outside of the church and repointing the west gable wall, later replacing the missing corner stones on the south west corner of the gable.
Pictured on the right.
This is looking southwards along the outside of the newly repointed west gable wall. Two formerly missing corner stones have been replaced on the south west corner.
The project continued through October and November with the meticulous work carried out on re-pointing all the stonework. The weather made work difficult as all the repointing was using lime mortar as the binding. This material is very temperature sensitive and the walls had to be covered in sacking to allow the mixture to mature whilst setting.
Conservation work on Kilbarron Castle will begin again in 2024 and other work on Kilbarron church will also be undertaken. We acknowledge the kind co-0peration of the landowners of the site and surroundings and are grateful of ther understanding whilst this conservation work was in progress.
If you wish to help the project with a small financial contribution follow the link to ‘Adopt a Stone’
Help our Castle and Church conservation work by donating to our Adopt-A-Stone appeal.